Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Riddle me this

Why do we, as writers, get overjoyed when we receive constructive feedback on a manuscript.  We take in our critique partner's comments, pose some thoughtful questions, then dig into our revisions with renewed vitality.  But when we receive the gold stamp of approval, the email that says  fantastic job, voice was spot-on, pacing was perfect, and you hooked me and kept me vested throughout, that we lose it?  Sit at our computers, chin on the floor wondering if they even read the damn thing because surely it can't be that good.  Surely my manuscript has major flaws that need to be addressed.  It is almost as if we are so conditioned to rejection, so anxious to make our manuscripts better, that we become stunned into immobility when we hear something positive.

Or maybe it’s just me.  Maybe I use critique partners as my own personal form of procrastination, a way for me to continue editing, continue tweaking just a bit more rather then risk sending my manuscript off to my agent . . . to an editor . . . to an actual reader.

14 comments:

  1. Because if all you get is a "good job", there's nothing concrete to work on. I know that's my issue. My beta readers thus far have been less than helpful.

    Then again, it may be time to send the thing off. (It wasn't for me, and I knew that.)

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  2. I had the same thing. An agent who last year asked me to change a few things in my manuscript and send it back, told me a month ago that while she didn't love my book and therefore couldn't represent me, the manuscript itself was great and another agent would love it. I couldn't accept that and instead combed through the manuscript once again until an author friend told me to take the agent at her word and re-query.

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  3. maybe we're scared that it might actually be time to send it out.

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  4. Definitely a procrastination thing. Send it :-)

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  5. Rachel -- sending you best of luck in the querying world.

    Sarah -- your honesty is well appreciated and makes me laugh. You are so right, as always. I will send it . .. in a couple of days after I re-read it for the fifteenth time :)

    Liz -- looks like we are both circling that same well. Glad I'm not the only one there.

    Prerna- scared maybe too kind of a word. Utterly terrified I think is a bit more accurate . . . for me anyway.

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  6. You know I get it. And, for the record, I also think "send it". It's ready.

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  7. I guess our work is done then, or you need a new pair of eyes. Depends on where you are in the process.

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  8. I hear you. Because when everyone else loves it and the rejections roll in anyway... I'd do anything to postpone that feeling of dejection!

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  9. *banging fists on table* Send it! Send it! Send it!

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  10. I KNOW! I'm always very suspicious of positive comments. I wonder secretly if there's something wrong with my critiquer. Like, they're scared of me or something. Or they don't want to crush my spirit.

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  11. I know--it is so hard to believe that there is an end point to revisions! Many times I imagine that the revision tunnel goes on forever. I hope this means you are, indeed ready to send it out!

    Good luck!!

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  12. I don't think it has anything to do with us. I think it has to do with the fake world we live in. Everyone always goes around and tells lies "You look great today," or "I'm doing fine" when in fact they aren't etc. So when someone says, "I loved your manuscript. It was a great read," and offers nothing more, then we know it is yet another little white lie that someone is telling. It's the conventions of living in the fake ole U.S. of A.

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